Malaysian riders? Usually just Zulfahmi Khairuddin to will on to the chequered flag. This weekend at Sepang is a little different though.
Returning to the scene of his first Moto3 podium just last year, Zulfahmi Khairuddin will be present after having titanium screws inserted into his wrist to help with the injury he has been carrying, affecting his performance pretty much all season.
Though sadly for the home rider it looks like he will be shifted to join Niklas Ajo in the other Ajo-run team as the Red Bull outfit look to have secured the signatures of Red Bull Rookies champion Karel Hanika, lead Honda rider Jack Miller and a returning Danny Kent after a beyond tough season with Tech3 in Moto2 lead him to quit on a deal signed to continue with the French team into 2014.
Joining him on the Moto3 grid are two Malaysian wild-card entries – Aizat Malik and Hafiq Azmi both on KTM’s for Touchline-SIC-Ajo. Looks like Aki Ajo has a busy weekend ahead!
Moto2 also has it’s ranks swelled with home interest riders.
Zaquhan Zaidi gets the best seat on offer as a replacement at Technomag carXpert for Randy Krummenacher, who is still recovering from his Silverstone injuries.
The team revealed to MotoGP.com that “We had two options here in Malaysia: either no-one to replace Randy or find a local rider,”, which lead to the appointment of Zaidi for his world championship debut.
The 18-year-old Malaysian began his career in 2009 and has achieved some success already racing in Asia. In 2012 he won a four hour endurance race in Japan at Suzuka and currently competes in both the Petronas AAM Malaysia Club Prix Championship and the Petronas Asia Road Racing Championship.
Recent Addition to the grid Azlan Shah, who replaced Yuki Takahashi at IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, will once again take on the tricky task of mastering the only Moriwaki present on the Moto2 grid.
Remember Hafizh Syahrin?
He had a pretty special wild-card outing in Sepang in 2012, finishing just off the podium in fourth in a surprising race only just being beaten to the rostrum by the unusual trio of Alex De Angelis, Ant West and Gino Rea (more on him later…) and he’s back on his Petronas Raceline Malaysia Kalex again this year, so here’s hoping for another explosive performance!
For a reminder of what he did last year click here: https://survivalofthefastest.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/what-next-for-malaysian-wild-card-hafizh-syahrin/
Gino Rea makes a pleasant but unexpected return at the scene of his only Moto2 podium finish, sitting in for Alberto Moncayo at the Arginano & Gines Racing team on a Speed Up machine after running as a self-financed wild-card on a FTR at most of the European rounds.
As the closest they will get to a home GP, there is also wild-card seat for Thai rider Decha Kraisart while Indonesian Fadli Immammuddin subs for the recovering Mike Di Meglio at JiR.